Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Do Book Sales Channels Manifest The Books’ Contents?

My sixth book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, challenges a lot of my assumptions in 12 years as a professional book promoter. Librarians respond positively to it in a 1:1 interaction, but not so much to fliers, etc. (I was quite pleased to discover last month that Denver Public Library stocks both Principled Profit and my earlier Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, since I had dropped in on the librarian on my previous visit). The mainstream media show very little interest, yet e-zine editors seem to love it. Bookstores don’t want to know it exists, but actual *readers* literally grab it out of my hands and buy it on the spot (it’s happened over and over again). It’s been much-blurbed (78 at last count) and much-reviewed.

If I can “go mystical” for a moment–here’s some speculation.

Thinking about it today, I’m wondering if the universe in some subtle ways responds to the content of books. One of several key principles in Principled Profit is marketing by building ongoing relationships, and another is that marketing is something much deeper and more powerful than the techniques discussed in most marketing books (including my own Grassroots Marketing). Principled Profit does really well when people meet me and see it.

Another principle in the book is the idea of abundance coming back to you when you are open to it. And I can trace a number of ways that has worked for me with this book:

  • Almost immediately, I started attracting a better class of client–including several who have gone on to have me shepherd their books from manuscript through production (at least two of my book packaging clients specifically cited the ethics approach as why they chose me)

  • * I have begun to attract well-paying speaking gigs on this topic

  • I became a regular columnist for a year and a half for Business Ethics magazine, which paid me to appear before my key core audience

  • I’ve just gotten my first assignment for Success magazine, about business ethics, and if they like my work, they’ve promised more

  • By contrast, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant’s Pocketbook got phenomenal media attention (Reader’s Digest, three mentions in Woman’s Day, Bottom Line, home pages of MSN, Paypal, and AOL, among many others)–but it was a slow seller. The content of that book was all about how to afford all sorts of great lifestyle stuff without having to buy it. And just maybe the universe was saying to me, “ok, if that’s how you want to be about it…”

    The idea that the universe manifests the type of energy (and results) that you feed it is certainly not new; it’s in dozens if not hundreds of books, and is the key principle of the movie “The Secret.” But it was only this morning that I put it into focus in terms of the sales results with my own books.

    “‘Tis a puzzlement,” as the King of Siam would say.


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